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Home Again

November 18, 2008

I see his face as I turn to grab the bottled water. I know his profile at once, even though it’s been a long time. Same close-cropped haircut. Same eyes. Same shirt buttoned casually, looking as if he doesn’t spend any time getting ready in the morning. But I know he does.

I slide open the glass door of the small cooler and grab my Dasani, wishing I’d picked another night to run out. All at once I feel excited and sick to my stomach. I wonder if he sees me. I wish I’d put on make-up and hate that I have the thought.

I turn back to the clerk, who is checking me out ever so slowly. Bagels. Dora yogurt. Kitchen cleaner. I feel a flush of anger at the store’s “newest Team Member” – why now, of all times, do I get the cashier-in-training?

I grab the bagels out of the clerk’s hand. I hear his voice behind me, “Yeah, I think that’s it for tonight.”

Go, go, go, Jess. Hurry, hurry, hurry.

“Do you want your receipt?” the Team Member asks. I don’t answer her. I head for the door.

What do I do if he says my name?

Go, go, go, Jess. Hurry, hurry, hurry.

I arrive at the van with my head down. No one has called out to me in the cold evening. I look at the front of the store. I don’t see him.

I put my groceries in the back and start to drive out of the lot. Then I see him putting away his cart, hitching up the pants I know belong to his dad. I drive by slowly because it is dark and he cannot see me. I crane my neck to see him one more time, angry at myself for watching him head back to his car.

“Drive, Jess.” I hear the Holy Spirit interrupt my ten thousand emotions. “Drive.”

I speed up and out of the lot and into another store’s lot. I turn off the ignition and sit in the dark, breathing hard.

Why did he…? When will I…? If only he could…

Slowly, painfully, I finally push away the thoughts. Enough.

I remember the months of our friendship. Memories of a hundred conversations flash through my brain as I think of the last time I saw him. The time I realized that if I did not walk away, I would eventually cross lines I never thought I would cross. Lines that would lead me away from God and away from my precious husband.

Now thoughts of my husband fill my head. His eyes, his hands, the sound of his voice. The way he looks with his shirt unbuttoned casually when he comes home from work.

I must see him. I want to see my husband. I cannot wait.

I start the car again and drive home, grabbing my yogurt and bagels as I enter my noisy, bright home.

“Hey!” my husband greets me, looking up from the chair and grinning at me. Our oldest son is draped in his lap, all arms and legs. Our two daughters are sprawled out on the couch, each holding a Storybook Bible. My three-year-old carefully turns the pages. Her sister, almost six and quite mature, frowns as she tries to read the words.

My husband is reading to our son, who has a question about the dreams of King Nebuchadnezzar. They snuggle closer after my brief greeting and keep reading.

I drop my bags in a pile on the living room floor, not caring if the yogurt gets warm. I sit and I watch them.

I am home.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. November 19, 2008 1:34 am

    I”ve had a “friend” like that.. fortunately, mine lives hundreds of miles away..and the last time there was contact, he apparently couldn’t deal with my life. Yay God for intervening.. I”m blessed to be home too.

  2. Tasha permalink
    November 19, 2008 8:51 am

    Good for you Jess!
    So many might casually say hi or something, you did the right thing and got out of there as fast as you could. I am so deeply impressed.
    =) Big hugs!

  3. Amanda McEwen permalink
    November 19, 2008 5:20 pm

    At least Hugh doesn’t have to wear his daddy’s hand me downs!!!
    Git your own britches foo’!!!!!

  4. Amanda McEwen permalink
    November 19, 2008 5:21 pm

    Sorry. Had a protective moment and had to get it out. Ruff Ruff

  5. November 19, 2008 10:06 pm

    You did the right thing completely, so kudos to you! Jesus, you, and Hugh all know where your heart and your priorities are. Don’t let the devil fool you for an instant into thinking otherwise!

  6. November 20, 2008 9:00 pm

    Thank God for giving your strength and will power. You did good. Very very very good. Keep doing good. 🙂

  7. November 23, 2008 5:07 pm

    This was good. Both your actions and your writing.

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